Fox Island Wind CEO: No easy resolution to wind turbine noise

Posted Sept. 14, 2010, at 12:23 p.m.

VINALHAVEN, Maine — The CEO of the electric cooperative that installed wind turbines on Maine’s Vinalhaven island says there’s disagreement over data suggesting they’re too noisy.

Fox Island Wind CEO George Baker says his experts dispute the findings of a Department of Environmental Protection consultant who says the turbines violate nighttime noise limits.

State law sets a 45-decibel limit. Baker says his experts believe it was ambient noise from wind rustling through trees that exceeded 45 decibels, not the turbines themselves.

Baker says it’ll be a difficult issue to resolve. He told The Associated Press on Tuesday that slowing the turbine blades to lower the noise level by a couple of decibels may not make appease critics. And lowering it further could hurt the economic viability of the project.